The Shape of Ideas

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Photo Credit:
Thank you and shoutout to Rui Xu.


The Shape of Ideas

Every morning I wake up
stretch my still tired bones
hoping for middle-age creaks
to have magically disappeared

Overnight I dream of sun—
basking my skin in the warmth
twirling in my swivel chair
trying to guess every time

I pass the sun and feel her rays—
my flowers blooming, my grass
greening beneath her glow
and then I wake up to mud

Everywhere the thick black muck
stuck to everything, even
my swivel rocker needed
to be put away and covered

Up to my ankles the mud
rises and enters my soul;
I wonder if, like the lotus,
I will ever emerge to life

From under the mud I begin
to rise and grow; soon I am
wading at the edge of beauty
not thinking about the hard

Hard work has followed me here,
but it’s the mud in my bones
that fortifies, birthing beauty
and wonder from endless rain.

—Carla Picklo Jordan

Sunset

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Lake Isabella
Sunset

Orange ombre
tapestry covers
the sky-blue of day
until only a sliver

remains framing
the still life,
reflecting off
the tranquil waters

where a fruit bowl
of cantaloupe,
apricot, peach,
and tangerine

captivate my senses
so tangible
I can taste them
I can smell the earth

cooling from her
day’s work. As
the bee buzzes by
in his rush to get back

to the hive,
even he slows down
to savor the beauty.
Pause, Reflect, Savor—

a holy trinity,
a powerhouse,
an embodiment
of living well.


Tanaga for June 2021

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Two Tanaga for June 2021

1.
June left me feeling beige-dead
One raining gloomy-bleak thread
Mud with ankle deep tire tread
Give me lucent day instead

2.
Anthracite grey wild-storming
Humid sauna air warming
Buzzing mosquitos swarming
Climate change life transforming

-draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

The Tanaga is a type of Filipino poem consisting of four lines with seven syllables in each line. Traditionally, each line ends with the same rhyme; however, sometimes this will be varied.

A Tanaga looks like this:

7-7-7-7 Syllabic verse with an AAAA (traditional), AABB, ABAB, or AAAB (modern) rhyme scheme.

Muddy Waters

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Photo Credit: Thanks and Say shoutout to Ben Wicks.
Muddy Waters

People like me belong to the rain—
soaking in joy breathing out sorrow,
tending to the dark roots and pain—
a slow broadening of mossy green
spreading wide after the summer storm.

I stay alive in muddy waters
when the verdant swaddle of meadow
is drowned in brown. It’s there I sought her
to teach me the wisdom of the rain
and to not be afraid of the dark.

It is with her I learned where I belong
and how to navigate in a world
reeking with sunshine and sappy song.
Bring on the rain, for how else do I
stay alive when dusk darkens the light?

—By Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

I read a story this morning about the death of a lovely young Australian woman who was a farmer, ecologist, and inspiration to many on her TikTok.

Her family didn’t give details about her death, but her father said “every day should be ‘R U OK? Day,” a reference to an Australian holiday when people are encouraged to have conversations about mental health and suicide prevention with one another.

I absolutely agree.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they are Ok. Don’t be afraid to push a little to encourage them to reach out to a professional.

There is no shame in needing help. Or asking someone if they need help.

It’s ok to not be ok.

How else can we stay alive when the rain comes and dusk darkens the light?

The Dreamers

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Photo Credit: Thanks and shoutout to Dan Smedley

Lately I have been reading through the Poetry Foundation website like a novel. Sometimes I search a theme, sometimes I just read through the site recommendations.

By doing this, I have discovered some amazing poets who were previously unknown to me, and I have also discovered some interesting forms of rhyme and meter.

I experimented today with a rather unusual rhyme scheme in an eight line stanza. It’s been so refreshing to take time each day and write. I’ll tell you, it does something good for my soul.

Never stop dreaming big dreams, friends—it’s the only way you’ll ever attain them.

Dreamers

On small boats, through the long canals, they came
settling in the lowlands, digging ditches
building dykes and drains, trying hard to tame
the water running uphill. They resolved
to change their thinking; new habits evolved
and soon sleek dwellings began to appear
great in hope and greater in scope than fear
until the gleaming wheat claimed their riches.

Tell me why it is that hordes of locust
love to swarm in the warm, wet month of May.
Sudden rain like the mind keenly focused,
calls and corrals a throng of living things.
And so folks lived like paupers on shoe strings
eating barley grass and growing green beans
while listening to the constant humming
of water flowing and tymbal thrumming.
None too soon, the greedy beasts flew away.

And then more dreamers came, some in sleek boats
skimming through the canals, seeking reprieve
from the mundane and stale in hull-less oats;
some carting a lifetime of hopes and dreams
in broken barges with leaking seams.
But come they did with courageous fervor,
to be farmer, builder, and observer—
full of faith, hope, and the power to believe.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

I Reckon The End Will Come


Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

A poem for the earth…

I Reckon The End Will Come

I reckon that the end will come
one summer day for all of us
sooner than we can imagine—
but who will be left here to care?

I reckon the once vibrant seas
will overflow with the carnage,
that is sadly vacant of life,
but who will be here to care?

I reckon no longer will we pass
our heirloom treasures on to those
generations who come after—-
but who will be here to care?

I reckon decay will someday
over take us, who are scattered
by the reckless without regard,
but who will be here to care?

I reckon when the last tall tree
is felled by careless apathy,
then the forests will lie barren,
but who will be here to care?

I reckon the poison of greed
will birth the realization
that life is not grown with money,
but who will be here to care?

--a draft by cjpjordan

Rainy Days

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Thanks to dylan nolte @dylan_nolte for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/J4lbSEF1xbI

Today the sun was scorching and poetry had to be written, so I went searching for a new form to explore.

That’s when I discovered the “rispetto”. A rispetto is a short poetic form of Italian origin comprising of 11 syllables per line. It has 8 lines. Rispetto typically uses the ababccdd rhyme scheme.

So here is my Sunday offering. A rispetto about rain on a scorching day. Wishing all of you that respite of rain.

Rainy Days

Somewhere in my mind it is always raining—
like the sound of thundering rooftop dancing,
while cozy fires burns brightly maintaining
the mood. And all the signs are there enhancing
the idea that I am moving toward
sound so powerful it cannot be ignored.
Refreshed, re-energized, and renewed I rise—
much like flowers after that rain, I surmise.

— Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What refreshes you?

What Did You Whisper to the Wind?

Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash

Today’s prompt was based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. 

The challenge was to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.

The Osprey

Today was the day, rising
early to head to the water.
Was that the grasses waving
good morning as we drove by?

Squinting against the sun shining,
who did I hear whistling
high-pitched and clear through the sky?
What bright sparkling caught my eye?

Whose nest was filled with littered bits —
brilliant twig jewels in morning light?
All at once I saw them coming 
fast and furious diving downward flight

orienting with the wind, floating 
on air, streaking like lightning
hunting by high dive, plucking fish
like cherries from the fresh water.

Head buried underwater, tucking
talons back, gripping their wriggling
prey on upward ascent. Tell me,
what do you whisper to the wind?

--A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What is your favorite memory in nature?

The Humming of Giraffe

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Thanks to Louise Pilgaard @toft_pilgaard for making this photo available freely on Unsplash

The poetry prompt for today came indirectly from Billy Collins via a Master Class on poetry. The challenge was to write a poem six to twelve lines long and containing only one sentence. My inspiration came from an article I read on giraffe humming.

Did you know that giraffe hum to one another when they sleep?

Well, at least giraffe in captivity do. The experts can only guess about what happens in the enclosures at night, but they have these amazing rich sound recordings of a deep harmonizing hum.

Many have hypothesized about the reason for the giraffe humming. Perhaps in captivity the songs are a way of connecting. Perhaps the sounds are snoring or maybe even dream sounds.

For me, I don’t need to know the reason why giraffe hum, I just need to listen to them. It’s the kind of sound that mends the earth.

Check out this article and listen to the sounds your self.

Hum of Giraffe

When the darkness comes
in low over the Serengeti
and the full moon rises
above the winding Mara,

you can hear the steady
irrepressible humming
like the deep harmonic rumble
of an ancient antiphonal choir

their sustained echos becoming
a healing drone, mending
the earth one solemn
soulful cry at a time.

—A draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

May your day overflow with healing and peace.

The Beginning

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This was our first berry, and we were delighted. Until something ate it in the night. 🙁

So we are taking about the garden beds today. I know we probably should have thought of that before the first of May, but Michigan weather is so …. Michigan-like.

Not knowing much about bed gardening, we built them last year inside of a small 10’ x 20’ kennel we used for the dogs when they were puppies. Well, no one told the squirrels and the birds that a fenced in area means “KEEP OUT”. Too late to save the strawberry patch, we discovered bird netting and covered the top of our enclosure.

This year, we want to be proactive, so each bed is getting individual bird netting to protect our harvest.

I know, I know. I’m forgetting a Core Principle of Kindergarten: Share everything.

I don’t care. I’m not feeding the squirrels and birds. They both attack our feeders with gusto. I say they need to stop being so greedy.

Save some for the humans!

I cannot wait for the tiny green plants to start to grow. And better yet is the day when the buds of fruit appear. All tightly curled in to itself, the bloom is very self-contained. But at some point, the plant decides that it the risk of opening up is worth it—the plant must bloom to grow a seed pod and perpetuate after all.

And I have decided to be more like that bloom. Remaining tightly closed up is more painful than the risk of blooming.

I choose life.

I choose legacy.

And with that decision, this blog is truly born. I am not sure how often I will post, but I am determined to write more this year.

I sense the unfolding of a bloom.